The Miami Marlins have suffered one indignity this season, becoming the first incumbent playoff team to ever begin a subsequent campaign with an 0-7 mark. Things may be worse than that record indicates. The Marlins have been outscored by nearly four runs per contest so far, and that despite opening the season at home with consecutive series against two teams, in the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Angels, who had losing records in 2023. Here is, perhaps, the best summation of Miami's first week: they've already pointed fingers at the shadows.

To some extent, regression was to be expected for these Marlins: they greatly outperformed their run differential last year by excelling in one-run and extra-inning games -- an approach that doesn't tend to hold up over the long haul. That's not a post hoc evaluation, either. Here's what we wrote in February, when we declared them the playoff team likeliest to miss this year:

It only makes sense, right? The Marlins were unquestionably the weakest team in last year's playoff field. They won 84 games during the regular season, 33 of those in one-run fashion, and finished with a minus-57 run differential. Even ownership seemed to accept Miami's success was fleeting, as the Marlins hired former Rays executive Peter Bendix to overhaul the baseball operations department.


Take a team whose success already seemed unsustainable heading forward, subtract two key talents from the roster, and then add no one of note in return and what do you get? In our evaluation, the playoff team most likely to fall short this summer. 

With all that in mind, it's fair to wonder: how close are the Marlins to writing off the season and declaring they're open for business? The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported late Wednesday that Miami had engaged in trade discussions deep into the spring concerning lefty Jesús Luzardo and second baseman Luis Arraez. The Marlins didn't complete a deal for either, but they did trade away utility player Jon Berti, who was shipped to the New York Yankees

From our perspective, it's not hard to envision the new Marlins front office, led by president of baseball operations Peter Bendix, declaring "this isn't working" and beginning a dismantlement well ahead of the trade deadline. So, just who are Miami's most realistic trade chits? Below, we've highlighted five players worth monitoring if you're a fan of a contender who wants to get started on summer shopping. (Do note that we've excluded any players currently on the injured list.)

1. 2B Luis Arraez

Luis Arraez
SD • 2B • #4
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Arraez is, without question, the sport's best contact hitter. He's batted .324/.376/.426 (124 OPS+) with three more walks than strikeouts over the last three seasons. He's also under team control for an additional year, making him more than a half-season rental. Given the league's slugging obsession, we do wonder if Arraez's trade value might be depressed compared to what it would be if he produced at the same overall level but with a different triple-slash composition. (Not to mention with greater defensive or positional value.) That might be a case of us overthinking it, though, seeing as how the Marlins had to part with Pablo López (plus two prospects) to get him in the first place. 

2. LHP Jesús Luzardo

Jesus Luzardo
MIA • SP • #44
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We toyed with putting Luzardo at the top of this list for two reasons: 1) he has an additional year of control versus Arraez, making him all the more attractive to contenders; and 2) have you seen some of these rotations? Anyway, Luzardo is on the sunny side of 27 despite having established himself as an above-average starter over the last two-plus years. He throws strikes, he misses bats, and he's notched more than five and a half innings per pop -- that may not sound like much, but keep in mind that teams have significantly lowered their workload expectations for starting pitchers in recent years. We think Luzardo will be a very popular target whenever the Marlins officially place him on the trade block.

3. CF Jazz Chisholm Jr.

Jazz Chisholm
MIA • CF • #2
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We don't know how compelled the Marlins will be to shop Chisholm, under team control through the 2026 campaign, but it would be interesting. He just turned 26 in February and he has a dynamic skill set: he's reliably provided around league-average offense while taking well to center field following a bumpy introduction. That's a good player, even if Chisholm's counting statistics underwhelm because of the time he's missed due to injury.

4. 1B Josh Bell

Josh Bell
MIA • DH • #9
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The Marlins obtained Bell last deadline as part of a trade with the Cleveland Guardians. He was brilliant for them down the stretch, hitting for a 119 OPS+ and matching his home-run total with the Guardians (11) in 44 fewer games. He hasn't opened this season in great fashion (who in Miami's lineup has?), but he's generally been a productive big-league hitter. Indeed, over the last three seasons, he's posted a higher OPS+ than Anthony Rizzo, Eloy Jiménez, Max Muncy, and other more famous names. Provided that 1) Bell heats up a little and 2) the Marlins are willing to retain some of his $16.5 million salary, they should be able to find a taker. 

5. LHP A.J. Puk

A.J. Puk
MIA • SP • #35
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One of the most intriguing subplots of this Marlins season entering the spring was how Puk, a former top draft pick who had been used exclusively in relief at the big-league level, would take in his return to the rotation. So far, the answer has been "not so great." He walked nearly half the batters he faced in his first start, then allowed two baserunners per frame in his second. On paper, experimenting with Puk as a starter made sense: he has good stuff and he'd shown above-average control during his reliever days. We could see other teams lining up to buy low -- either because they believe in him as a starter, or because they want to deploy him again in high-leverage situations. Whatever the case, we think the Marlins would be wise to listen to offers for Puk, despite him having several years of team control remaining, because of his approaching 29th birthday and his lengthy injury history.